Live What You Know

Learn, Grow, Accept, Appreciate, Realize, Love…Truly Live It All! Make Every Day A Masterpiece and Live Each Moment In Joy! —or— You are Divine. You are All. We are One. Let us Be still. Let us Listen with an open heart. Let us Live what we hear. Let us Love with All of our heart. BE. YOU. I AM. —or— wherever you're at and growing from now.

Tag: slow down

Cultivating a Poetry Practice

As detailed in my previous post, after learning all about Coach Wooden, I read and studied all of his work with a voracious appetite to learn and a grateful heart for the spirit and gift I had discovered.  The thing that Coach expresses first and foremost in most of his work is his great respect, love and admiration for his father,  Joshua Wooden.   As you read Coach’s work, it is quite something to hear about his childhood on the farm and the many life lessons he encountered there.  His parents were a great example of exemplary character through hardships and all life brought their way.  It was quite meaningful to have a glimpse into another time with such amazing people working so hard without complaint.

One of the great things Coach shared was about his father reading to his children at night.  He grew up with no electricity, plumbing, or conveniences.  For their entertainment, his father read to them by the light of a coal-oil lamp.  He read them a lot of poetry and Shakespeare and more.  In Coach’s own words he says, ” The poetry Dad read to us when we were kids instilled a love of reading, English, books and knowledge.”  He also recalls, “Dad reminded me often, ‘Johnny, you’ll never learn a thing that you didn’t learn from someone else.’  Good books help us do that.” 

When Coach graduated from grade school, his father gave him what he called The Gift of A Lifetime...it was a little card that had a very special verse on one side and a list of “Seven Things to Do” on the other side.  He eventually called the seven things “Dad’s Seven Point Creed”… When his Dad handed him the card, all he said was, “Son, try and live up to these things.”  In Coach’s humble way, when sharing about these things, he says he wishes he could say he lived up to them.  He says he tried.  I think we can all see how he more than tried, he soared.  He lived up to his father’s Seven Point Creed and he brought it to so many in a time when it is so needed.

Number four on the list was, “Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.”  Coach certainly did that.  His love of books and reading started those nights listening to his father reading.  When I learned of this in his various retellings of it, it hit me deep and it changed me.  I thought of my own little ones and my heart tugged and I remember feeling, “Oh, how I wish we lived in a time when we could do this.”…next thought was something like, “Duh, we can do this now.”  Mad dash to the computer to order poetry books and our family poetry nights began…

We have kept with family poetry nights over the years and we have practiced in various ways.  At first we would rotate turns and let each family member lead the reading and discussion.  Whoever’s night it was would read the poem and then we would all discuss what it meant to each of us.  It was delightful to hear how we would each interpret things in our own way.  It also helped us to understand each other better and see things through the eyes of our loved ones.  We went through a stage of everyone reading each night, as we discussed several poems or at least listened to several.  We began to crave going deeper into just one or two poems again, so we returned to assigning nights.  Sometimes the kids are so enthusiastic, we read more.  We are going with the flow of it now.

Our family poetry practice has been a great gift in our lives.  Poetry cannot be read quickly, you must slow down and give it your full attention.  It speaks to the soul.  It brings meaning to our days.  We are by no means poetry experts, we simply follow our hearts toward what speaks to us.  It has led to so many wonderful works, discussions and experiences.  Often when we’re out in the world, one of the kids will see something that reminds them of a poem…they will begin reciting it and excitedly experiencing life in a deeper way.  It is miraculous.  The poetry doesn’t just stay in the house with us where we practice it…it lives with us all the time and blesses us constantly.  We love reading poetry from all corners of the world, it connects us to more than our lives here.  We have been blessed by poetry in our lives in countless ways.

As the years of our poetry practice are adding up, I can truly see just how much it has added to our children’s lives.  It makes them willing to look deeper at things and try to understand that which isn’t immediately obvious.  It has also developed their love of reading and learning in so many ways.  For my husband and I, it has been equally amazing.  Cultivating a poetry practice was new for us both and it has been the most delightful gift.  The poems have a way of finding us.  We have been exposed to so much more than we expected.  We will keep this family practice alive in our home and hearts as long as possible and continue to cultivate it and go deeper and deeper into our practice.  We are grateful for this gift!

Wishing you a life full of poetry!

What’s The Rush? Stop Rushing and Start Living!

Rushing through anything for any reason whatsoever creates stress and suffering and goes against the flow of Life.  The truth is that “on time” is when we get there.  We completely overlook the present moment and all the miracles found within when we rush or hurry in any way for any reason.  When we can let go and trust that all things are happening exactly as they are meant and in the time they are meant to, we can embrace the joy of truly going with the flow of Life.  These all sound like catch phrases and clichés unless we really understand what we’re turning on back on when we rush through anything.  We are turning away from life and creating problems in our head.

For years I was the chronically early type to most things and would get quite stressed over being late.  I rushed in my previous over-scheduled work life and I have even rushed like a mad-woman to countless mommy-and-me activities and kids’ birthday parties with my little ones simply out of the habit of doing so.  Yuck.  How many magic moments I rushed though makes me feel ill.  Good thing I know better than wasting any energy on regrets.  I made the connection some time back and realized I cannot continue creating the energy that comes with rushing.  It goes against everything I am.  I have been working towards new habits to reform and retrain my way of thinking that can help me slow down and flow.

I truly understand now and want to live in a way that allows me to arrive at events at exactly the moment I am meant to be there with calm pure energy that allows me to enjoy exactly what the moment has to offer.  If I get my head involved in time and rushing too much, I will miss all of the sacred stuff life has to offer (everything is scared when you take the time to be with it).  Truth be told, rushing doesn’t get you there any faster, just more stressed.  By the time you get to the next thing, the mind starts rushing you to the next and so on.  To truly be anywhere fully, you must quiet the mind created chatter that watches the clock so closely and creates reactions to it.  Of course proper planning and coordinating are necessary to function in society and arrange appointments, etc., but it is possible to eliminate rushing and still keep a tidy calendar and be courteous to others.

In most cases rushing includes resisting what has already happened.  Some little thing that made us later than we had hoped for, or some circumstance we really couldn’t control causes us to react in a panic and rush to get to the next thing because we think we are late or close to it.  If we are late, rushing only means we’re resisting it.  Resisting the moment in this way is in direct opposition to conscious living and honoring the present moment.  If we resist any part of the moment, we aren’t in it.  We are wishing for a new one or that the one we’re in were different from what already is.  We have lost trust that there is a flow to our life and that all things are as they should be.  Even when things seemingly go “wrong” we can trust that it happened for a reason.

There is nothing better than knowing you are flowing…that you are really living your moments the way you are meant to.  It feels like magic and constant hugs from the universe as it sends you messages.  Taking the time to figure out how to slow down is worth the effort.  You can bring so much meaning and joy to your days by living the moments more fully.  A few things that are helping me remember not to rush and to support a life of flowing are as follows:

  • I say to myself “I have plenty of time” – this little mantra when rushing wants to take over helps time lose it’s power over us…it helps me step into the timeless realm of the moment
  • I breathe and clear my head when I feel the urge to hurry
  • I remind myself that “on-time” is when we get there
  • Think of poetry – we have a practice we do at night (posting on this soon), it helps if you let it.  You must read poetry slowly and then you can recall it and bring it to your days.  I would much rather live life like a poem than a hectic whirlwind.
  • Meditate – you can remember the stillness throughout the day and bring it to any moment.
  • Invite others to the moment – I notice my little ones showing signs of my former self with hovering and waiting too early to leave or rushing to the next thing.  I now have to try to help them embrace the idea that “on-time” is when we get there.  Modeling is the best thing, but sometimes we have to talk about it.  I am sure most of us are around people who are rushing, so it is nice to just invite them to relax and enjoy things exactly as they are without rushing to the next thing.
  • Saying “no” to things that don’t fit in the schedule or would cause things to be too hectic.  We can design our days to align with our values of slowing down.

Note – the whole idea behind the no-rush shift assumes that we are doing our personal best in many areas and not at all interested in using the slowing down excuse for being late and making others wait on us, etc.  I am sure this goes without saying, but just a reminder to always do our best to plan enough time not to rush.

Wishing us all the ability to shift to a slower pace that allows us to give our fullest attention to whatever is right in front of us now…listening better, looking better, touching life and everything around us more fully, seeing more deeply, understanding completely…embracing our true nature.  Now.  Sending you joy and love!

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